TFG1MIKE 365 – 2019 Day 11
The Wal-Mart Incident of 2018!
Hello all and welcome to a NEW Daily Blog series from me… TFG1Mike! The idea here is for me to write something, anything, once a day for 365 days. From January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. In my 11th entry, I’ll be talking about a negative experience at Wal-Mart. This happened in September of 2018. In general I’m fine with getting stuff at wal-mart, I wish they’d treat their employees better though.
PREFACE #1: I debated posting this, but then I thought, what if it helps another disabled person out there? My 365 series here can be about anything, and one thing I am refusing to do in this new year, more than ever… is to stop pulling my punches! Also I left the post in the present day context as it was written September 1, 2018.
PREFACE #2: I want to preface this by saying that normally any comments about my disability do not get under my skin as much as they used to. I’ve learned to ignore people, but this situation… I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut.
“FAT PEOPLE DON’T NEED MOTORIZED CARTS IN BIG BOX STORES…. THEY ARE FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN’T WALK!!!” – UNKNOWN RUDE ASS WOMAN IN WAL-MART!!!
Have I grabbed your attention yet with that headline?
For those that do not know… I was born with a VERY MILD case of Cerebral Palsy. It affects my brain, and the whole right side of my body. The physical aspects you can see are that my right hand and foot are smaller than my left side, and that they turn in slightly. If any of you have seen RJ Mitte as Walt Jr on Breaking Bad… my case is less severe than his, and he even had to make his look worse on TV for the character.
Before my Mom died in 2015 I asked her what was the cause of my CP? Her answer was the Doctor was DRUNK, and he botched the birth!
So I’ve lived with this DISABILITY my whole life. Plus I’ve lived with weight issues since I was a teenager in the 90s. I’m currently at 404lbs. Whereas 2 and 3 years ago I was between 380-383lbs. So sadly I’ve put on some weight, which I’m trying to lose again. So it’s safe to say that I’m a fat person. Because of that and mainly my disability it’s difficult to walk an entire store like Wal-Mart for shopping. So I use the motorized carts that they have available to the public. My wife also has to use these because of her medical issues.
So we are grocery shopping at Wal-Mart in Gurnee, IL. We are clear across the store from one another, I’m in the dairy and frozen section getting some yogurt. As I maneuver my way to the yogurt section there is what seems like an unattended cart in front of where I need to go. So I stop the cart get up and walk over to where the yogurt I wanted was located. Before doing this I saw a mother and son to the right of me and I assumed that it was their cart. It was and as I was getting back into the motorized cart… she says to me, “THOSE AREN’T FOR FAT PEOPLE THEY ARE FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN’T WALK! My sister who can’t walk has been waiting for a cart!!!!” By the time I had this run in… we had only been in Wal-Mart 5 minutes or less.
(When Karen and I walked into Wal-Mart we saw two motorized carts that no one was using, so we took them. We have also had times when a motorized cart was unavailable for both, or even one, of us, and depending on the pain level that day, we can either power through or sometimes, yes, it’s bad enough that we have to turn around and leave because there’s NO WAY we could navigate the store that day with the pain we’re in.)
My reply to her is, “Excuse me ma’am… I’m disabled.” I then show her my right arm, and she goes onto say, “But YOU CAN WALK! People like you shouldn’t be allowed to exist.” She then says that “I’m just A FAT LAZY SLOB on a motorized cart taking it away from the people that REALLY NEED TO USE IT!!!…” She wouldn’t even allow me to defend myself against her, she kept walking away ignoring me. While calling me “USELESS”!!!
This is where I stopped being polite and tore into her…. I said, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Can you not see that my arm and leg are affected by something? Are you so FUCKING BLIND that you can’t see I AM DISABLED!?!?”
Her son or whomever the kid was with her said nothing the entire time. What lessons of prejudice and hatred his mother is teaching him!
My mother taught me 2 things… Silence is Golden when you know you shouldn’t say anything, and to STAND UP for yourself.
Karen then meets back up with me in the frozen section and asks, “What was that?” I say oh you have no idea… and proceed to tell her the story. I WISH there had been a fucking WAL-MART manager there to see this whole thing.
So yay SEPTEMBER 2018 is starting off to be a great month!
In the end this really doesn’t matter, but at the time in that moment…. HOW FUCKING DARE YOU VERBALLY ATTACK ME? Not that it should matter, by the way, even if I was “just” a fat person using this device. I have seen plenty of very able-bodied kids ride around on these things like they are toys, and even I don’t go off on them (well, in my head I do, and if I were waiting to use one at the time… yeah, I’d probably speak up that it’s not a roller coaster ride, those are down the street at Great America — damn kids, get off my lawn!). No, the fact remains that these are very much provided for people who CAN walk, but NOT WELL. Otherwise Wal-Mart and other stores wouldn’t provide them at all and leave the disabled and elderly, and whoever else uses them, at a loss and unable to shop in their stores. But they know better, they know people have the exact issue I have and that my wife has – and they provide them exactly because the person CAN get to the store, but cannot navigate the 10,000 sq ft of shopping space without help. So this cart is, in fact, very much intended for ME to use. I could be the poster fucking child for why they spend the thousands of dollars on these carts! Someone who can take 2 steps to reach a yogurt or two is NOT the same as someone who can easily walk the entire store without excruciating pain! This is regardless of weight too. Would it be easier to walk around without the extra weight? Of course!!! Does that make me any LESS disabled? NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM! My right side would still be affected and I would still have CP. I should not be shamed into having to point out or defend my disabilities to the world, much less to some ignorant Wal-Mart shopper.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO? – Where’s John Quiñones when you really need him?
Seriously tell me in the comments below, how you woulds react to the above situation.
Join me tomorrow morning January 12, 2019 as I’ll be writing about my love of Funko Pop figures, and my toy collecting habits in general!
“Be an Optimist, not a Negatron!” unknown quote from an image on Facebook I saw years ago.